Posted in Perspectives

Hello From Amsterdam

Two weeks ago, on a painfully lonely Monday afternoon, my phone vibrated from across the room. I had half a mind not to pick it up. I was half asleep and generally regretting my own existence. Nonetheless, I stumbled out of bed.

I don’t usually get phone calls from anyone other than my parents (mostly because I never answer when anyone else calls) so I sort of warmed up from head to toe when a familiar name popped up on my screen, one I didn’t think I’d see for a while. My friend, Mo (who runs a blog called seasonal words abroad, go have a look) had arrived in Amsterdam where she’ll be staying for the next 6 months and I guess she was missing home a little. I mean, who wouldn’t if they were alone on a whole different continent.

We talked about all sorts of things – school, friends, the grown up the world and how it was different to what we imagined it would be, but perhaps better. We talked about our plans and how the future was scary. Mostly, talked about feeling a little lost.

We didn’t really exchange advice, from what I can remember. Yet, things just started to make a bit more sense after that talk, at least for me. It’s amazing what a willing ear and a few words of encouragement can do.

I will forever be so grateful for the people in my life. The ones who accept me without judgement though I can be strange and unbearable at times. They are always there for me, to support my grand schemes or comfort me on my lowest… even if they’re oceans away.

Mo, you said you really needed that phone call. But I needed it more. Thank you.

 

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Posted in Perspectives

Rambling about puzzles

I really don’t have anything to say. I think there’s some danger in writing when you don’t have anything to say. You put yourself at risk of saying something stupid or possibly oversharing. So, why am I sitting here writing? At this stage, writing has become almost a compulsion. Even if I cringe at how terrible my writing is, I do it anyway because I don’t know how not to.

Let’s see then… what to talk about…

Ah, yesterday, I bought a puzzle. It was such an impulse move. Do people build puzzles anymore? No one I know does. But, I’ve always loved them. I remember being six years old, sitting on my bedroom floor with the radio on and just putting the pieces together. There’s something soothing about that.

Doing it again 15 years later, it still has the same effect. I can feel the stress evaporate from my body. Perhaps, it’s about being able to make the pieces fit when you have no chance of getting the pieces of your life to fit together half as well.

Anyway, I don’t regret the purchase. I’d call it the perfect distraction.

Posted in Perspectives

I like things that are different, so what?

A while back I wrote a post called A Fish Out of Water where I talked about being a little different and feeling isolated because of that. I also went on to say how I didn’t want to care about what people think of me anymore. That’s always easier said than done. However, as a start, I thought I’d share with you a few things I love that people might find a little strange: Continue reading “I like things that are different, so what?”

Posted in Perspectives

What Should I Do With My Life?

Two weeks ago, my friends and I were sitting down for lunch between classes when I received a frantic message from my little sister:

“I’m not sure what I want in life.”

I was a little taken aback. Firstly, because the message came out of nowhere (we hadn’t spoken in about a week) and secondly, because when I was fourteen I wasn’t really spending a lot of time fixated on what I wanted in life. I was mostly trying to get through school, figuring things out as I went along.

So, I responded in the most cliche way possible. I asked her, “What gets you out of bed in the morning?”

“If sleep were a job, I’d be a zillionaire,” she replied and then as an afterthought added, “and writing.”

Now, this really surprised me. She’s spoken about her love for art and photography, but never writing. I was ecstatic to find we had something in common. However, as the conversation wore on, I discovered we shared another thing in common: a lack of motivation. She didn’t know where to start. She didn’t know how to start. I feel the same. I’m always sitting on so many ideas but as soon as I try to get them down on paper, I sort of freeze up, directionless. Maybe, this is something a lot of writers have in common.

It’s easy to forget why you began writing. Life is distracting enough for us to forget. I started writing for the sheer pleasure of bringing the imagination to life, for the release of emotion and for the thrill of knowing that maybe you could change someone’s life with your words.

It’s so easy to forget that burning passion.

I guess the key to pursuing something you love is to never forget why you started. Remember the feeling in your chest when you wrote your first story and don’t let that go. On some days it might be the only thing that will keep you going.

I hope now that my sister has figured out what she wants in life, that she will keep pushing until her dreams materialise. I hope the same for myself, and for you.

Posted in Perspectives

Dig deep

No one knows what is best for you, but you. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. People may look down on your decisions because you are young or because you’ve been wrong before, but don’t let their judgement derail your plans.

Even if you feel as if you have no clue where you should be heading or what to do next, don’t be discouraged. You carry the compass within you, perhaps lost or hidden under layers of self-doubt or the criticism of those close to you. Nevermind that. Remember that people will want you to succeed, but rarely more than they do. So, keep pushing. Keep digging. Everything you want and need is somewhere within you.

Nevermind that. Remember that people will want you to succeed, but rarely more than they do. So, keep pushing. Keep digging. Everything you want and need is somewhere within you.

Remember that people will want you to succeed, but rarely will they want you to succeed more than they do. So, keep pushing. Keep digging. Everything you want and need is within reach if only you take that first step towards it.

Posted in Perspectives

Oversharing on Social Media

How much is too much? This is a question I always ask myself before every post on every platform, with the result that I often post nothing at all.

Social interaction makes me nervous, whether online or in person, but lately, I’ve wanted to become more active on social media for two reasons: as an act of bravery to overcome my evident social phobia and to connect with more like-minded people. However, when I scroll through my old tweets or remember my cringy Facebook post from five years ago, I always think “wow, maybe you shouldn’t have said that.”

So again, how much is too much? To be honest, I’m not quite sure. Obviously, there are certain things you should never post online – your personal information, pictures of what you were doing when you were off work “sick”, etc – but, how deeply should you let complete strangers peer into your life.

It’s a tricky balance to strike. Share too much and you might look back in a few years regretting all of it. Someone could even use something you said back then against you in some very scary ways. On the other hand, if you share too little, you run the risk of appearing disinterested or insincere.

Who knew navigating social media would come down to an exact science. I’ve always been good at science, but this one is taking me a little longer to crack. Maybe the only solution is to not think about anything you put out there, embrace the cringe and deal with the consequences later.

Posted in Perspectives

Suicide is not Selfish

This morning, I heard the news of Chester Bennington’s passing. I’ve been listening to Linkin Park since my early teens and listening to their music now will always fill me with a tinge of sadness. I hope he finds peace.

Many people took to social media to share their condolences. However, every now and then I came across comments saying that suicide is selfish and cowardly.

Well, let me share an unpopular opinion: Suicide is not selfish. I don’t think many people understand that suicide is often the closing line of a book filled with suffering – a type suffering that I hope none of you will ever have to endure.  Continue reading “Suicide is not Selfish”